> I have starting swimming as a way of cross training. While I want to keep
> track of the laps, I also let my mind wander as a means of relaxation. Are
> there any devices available (other than memory) to keep track of one's
> progress? If so, where can they be ordered?
If you're interested in just cariovascular conditioning, fat burning,
etc., consider just keeping track of the time. Swim for 20 (or whatever)
Of course, that isn't enough for many people. They want to know how far
they went. If you're stopping at all (say every 100 yards, or every 10
lengths or whatever) you can slide the floats along the end of the lane
line, using them like a big abacus. A lot of competitors do this in their
interval workouts to keep track of how many repeats they've done.
If you want to spend money, Speedo makes a little gadget specifically for
lap counting that looks like a little sports watch that straps on your
index finger. It has a button on the face that you press with your thumb
and an LCD readout. The mail order stores (or a local swim shop) should
carry them. Call 1-800-555-1212 (that's 800 information) and ask for
numbers for Kast-a-way Swimwear and World Wide Aquatics. (I don't know
anyone who has used these though.)
With practice, you may find that you can count your laps just fine and
still be able to "zone out" to some extent. I like to say the number to
myself each time I push-off - it has become a part of the whole process of
blasting off the wall.